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Autonomic Nervous System
  • Controls involuntary actions in the body

  • Major neural pathway activated by stress

  • Influences the activity of most tissues and organ systems in the body

  • Three branches: sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric

The Vagus Nerve
  • 10th cranial nerve and longest, most complex nerve in the body

  • Connects the lower part of the brain to the neck, chest, and abdomen

  • Makes up the main nerves of the parasympathetic nervous system

  • Acts as a major bidirectional communication pathway between the brain & body

  • Stimulating the vagus nerve stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system

  • Influences the limbic system in our brain, where emotions are processed

Key Terms

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